Eye Disorder: How Coloboma of the Iris Affects Vision

Disorder Coloboma

What is Coloboma of the Iris?

Coloboma of the iris is an eye disorder caused by incomplete closure of the fetal tissue during the baby’s development in the womb. It is a birth defect that affects the iris — the colored area of the eye — resulting in a notch, cleft, or gap in the area. This disorder can occur in one eye or both eyes and occurs in about 1 in 10,000 people.

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What are the Symptoms of Coloboma of the Iris?

Some common symptoms of coloboma of the iris include:

  • Changes in the color or pattern of the iris – there may be a notch, cleft, or gap in the iris which can be seen in eye exams or in bright lights.
  • Reduced vision – coloboma of the iris can cause reduced vision due to the irregular shape of the iris which can interfere with how light entering the eye is focused.
  • Photophobia – this is a condition where light causes discomfort or pain in the eyes.
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How is Coloboma of the Iris Diagnosed?

Coloboma of the iris is usually diagnosed by an eye exam. An ophthalmologist may use a bright light and special lenses to look closely at the back of the eye to see if there is a notch, cleft, or gap in the iris indicating coloboma of the iris.

In some cases, imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs may also be used to further examine the eye and diagnose coloboma.

How Does Coloboma of the Iris Affect Vision?

Coloboma of the iris can affect vision due to the irregular shape of the iris which can interfere with how light entering the eye is focused. This can lead to reduced vision, blurred vision, and photophobia.

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Treatment of Coloboma of the Iris

Unfortunately, coloboma of the iris is generally irreversible and cannot be cured. Treatment of coloboma of the iris usually focuses on helping to improve vision by correcting refractive errors with eyeglasses or contact lenses or by using low vision aids or magnifiers. Surgery may be an option in some cases, but this is not usually considered a first-line option.

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